A simple but entertaining narrative inspired by stuffed animals.

MEET THE JOOBLES

A picture book follows stuffed toys as they move and play.

Brown offers a story featuring a collection of stuffed animals made by Peruvian artisans. The toys, or Joobles, are extremely active, and the tale narrates their motions (“Joobles! Joobles! Take a walk! Joobles! Joobles! Skip and hop!”). The rather emotive text (Joobles is always accompanied by an exclamation point) does not follow a plot, instead describing the Joobles’ activities (“Pip and Mel romp, and Racky runs. Kitty Katz naps in the sun”). The text rhymes in English. Miranda-McIntosh’s Spanish translation that appears on facing pages is able to retain some rhymes, but in many cases, producing an accurate, word-for-word translation means losing the rhythm of the English words. The brightly colored, cartoonlike illustrations by Balsley capture the essence of the protagonists. The images convey the feeling of constant motion supplied by the text, and the emphasis on color rather than intricate details keeps the pictures from overwhelming readers. This is a picture book that does not tell a traditional tale but engages young readers with a catchy rhythm and pleasing rhymes. The combination of a minimalist text in a recurring pattern and eye-catching illustrations is likely to appeal to very young children who enjoy the reading experience but are not yet able to follow a story. An afterword explains the Joobles’ real-life origin and the nonprofit organization that oversees their creation and distribution, providing necessary context for the straightforward tale.

A simple but entertaining narrative inspired by stuffed animals.

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-09-838198-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Fair Indigo

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2021

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GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS

With the same delightfully irreverent spirit that he brought to his retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" (1987), Marshall enlivens another favorite. Although completely retold with his usual pungent wit and contemporary touches ("I don't mind if I do," says Goldilocks, as she tries out porridge, chair, and bed), Marshall retains the stories well-loved pattern, including Goldilocks escaping through the window (whereupon Baby Bear inquires, "Who was that little girl?"). The illustrations are fraught with delicious humor and detail: books that are stacked everywhere around the rather cluttered house, including some used in lieu of a missing leg for Papa Bear's chair; comically exaggerated beds—much too high at the head and the foot; and Baby Bear's wonderfully messy room, which certainly brings the story into the 20th century. Like its predecessor, perfect for several uses, from picture-book hour to beginning reading.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1988

ISBN: 0140563660

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1988

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This extraordinary book will make it hard for any child reader to settle for the mundaneness of reality.

WHAT IF...

A testament to the power of an imaginative mind.

A compulsively creative, unnamed, brown-skinned little girl with purple hair wonders what she would do if the pencil she uses “to create…stories that come from my heart” disappeared. Turns out, it wouldn’t matter. Art can take many forms. She can fold paper (origami), carve wood, tear wallpaper to create texture designs, and draw in the dirt. She can even craft art with light and darkness or singing and dancing. At the story’s climax, her unencumbered imagination explodes beyond the page into a foldout spread, enabling readers both literally and figuratively to see into her fantasy life. While readers will find much to love in the exuberant rhyming verse, attending closely to the illustrations brings its own rewards given the fascinating combinations of mixed media Curato employs. For instance, an impressively colorful dragon is made up of different leaves that have been photographed in every color phase from green to deep red, including the dragon’s breath (made from the brilliant orange leaves of a Japanese maple) and its nose and scales (created by the fan-shaped, butter-colored leaves of a gingko). Sugar cubes, flower petals, sand, paper bags, marbles, sequins, and lots more add to and compose these brilliant, fantasy-sparking illustrations.

This extraordinary book will make it hard for any child reader to settle for the mundaneness of reality. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-39096-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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